So you’re ready to redesign your website. Or maybe you’ve launched a new business and are designing a new site from the ground up. Congratulations, while this is going to take some effort and involvement on your part — whether you work with an internal team or bring in a firm or specialist as a partner — it’s going to be exciting, interesting, and probably a chance for you to learn a lot.
Before you do anything though, it’s critical to have a plan. I know those of you who regularly read Marketing Trenches aren’t at all shocked – it’s rare that we do anything without mentioning a plan. In this case, what you really need to think about before you do anything with the website is everything that you are going to do after the website. What do I mean by that?
Let’s face it, the days of “If you build it, they will come” are long gone. Except with some very rare exceptions, you can’t just launch a website, lay back, and wait for prospects, customers and dollars to roll in. So, before you even start on your new website, make sure you have planned – and budgeted – for the marketing of that website. Make sure you have thought about marketing as an ongoing piece of the puzzle as well, not just a burst at launch for a month or two and then nothing. Don’t think that a launch email and submitting to search engines is all you need, you need to make sure you address all your online and offline marketing channels, including a plan for search, email, and social media among others.
Too often I’ve seen it happens where clients spend a huge chunk of their budget on the website itself and have little if anything budgeted to market it. Make sure you don’t fall into that trap, even if it means reserving some website pieces for a second phase. Because without a commitment to a marketing plan, it probably won’t matter what content or features your website has if nobody knows about you.
Think of your ongoing marketing as the fuel for your website, powering you forward.
After all, what good is that new car if you don’t have any gas to take it out of your driveway?